Day 161: Tired Out


I go through bicycle phases.  Sometimes I ride a lot, sometimes not.  For the past few years, I’ve been riding it a lot.  Back and forth to work. . . around town. . . to Mexico. . . etc

Anyway, I’ve had the same bicycle for about 14 years, and last week I got a hole in my wheel.   Not the inner tube, not even the tire, it’s the rim.

The rim of my back wheel where the brakes touch has been getting progressively more concave as the years go by, and as you can kind of see in the photo, I finally wore through it.  This meant, of course, that I had to replace my rim in the middle of our buy-nothing year.

I’m not saying I got around buying things, but I had luckily foreseen this happening a year and a half ago and already had a new wheel waiting in the shadows.  No, I wasn’t stockpiling.   I had been meaning to switch it out ages ago, but was too lazy to actually follow through until it became a true issue of safety.  It’s actually to my detriment, because now I have to deal with the waste properly.

bike-cableAnd I did purchase something – new brake pads and a new brake cable (my old ones were getting unsafe).  Neither are the types of things you can really get secondhand (when they’re dead, they’re dead), so I had to go new.

I did decide to get brake pads with cartridge pads, so I only have to replace the rubber bit each time from now on and not the whole pad.  I also picked the brand with cardboard packaging instead of a plastic cover.

bike-wheelSo, on the garbage front, I now have one wheel, one brake cable and sheath, and one set of pads.  But I must say that the purchasing and waste was worth it because this new wheel and brake set up is ever so much more smooth, fast, and efficient than my old, grime-coated version from the early 90’s.  I wish I had done it sooner.

I’m thinking that the cable and the wheel can be termed scrap metal and possibly recycled.  Alternatively, the wheel could make some kind of art project – I’m thinking a Christmas mobile since we won’t be buying a tree to hand our ornaments on this year.  Maybe that’s too folksy.  Any better ideas?



Filed under DIY, slip ups

8 responses to “Day 161: Tired Out

  1. kate

    you better not give me some bicycle wheel art project for christmas!

  2. homelessgirl

    Oh my goodness you’ve had a bike for 14 years.

    My last one didn’t last 14 months

  3. new brakes, one wheel in the bin, but such an accident risc less…yep! that’s a good deal!!

  4. Emilie

    I’d like some bicycle wheel art for xmas 🙂 Or better yet, make it myself. However I did leave my distorted wheel at the store a couple weeks ago, motivated by the anti-clutter thoughts…

  5. Jen CleanBin

    Kate and Mom- that’s ok, you’re getting Christmas ornaments made out of re-used bicycle brake pads decorated to look like reindeer (just kidding).

    Esther – I agree, more safety is always better. Of course, now my front brakes aren’t nearly as nice as my back ones. . . .

    Emilie – be careful, I might take you up on that offer. And I hear you on the anti-clutter sentiment. I have a basement FILLED with “projects” I have yet to finish.

  6. You can recycle that bicycle wheel!! The rim is all aluminum with the exception of a small piece of steel at the seem, you can find it with a magnet. The spokes are stainless steel, and the hub is aluminum and steel, the axle, nuts, cones and bearings are all steel. Check with you local metal yards to see if they recycle “breakage” that’s the term they use for steel/aluminum that can’t easily be separated. We recycle hundreds of non functioning bikes yearly, and the only parts that can’t get recycled are the plastic and “rubber” grips that don’t specify what type they are. Email with any questions.

    • Jen CleanBin

      Great idea John! I always think that items with multiple components are too hard to recycle. That’s a great program you have going there with the bike co-op. I especially appreciate it since the Clean Bin Project concept started while we were on a two month cycle tour. We have a bike co-op in Vancouver too, so maybe I’ll see if I can donate some parts before recycling the entire wheel. .. .

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